ReBlog: The Secret Language of Girls on Instagram

I’m a mom of boys but my heart is big for girls too.

When I watch my boys try to figure out life and navigate friendships on their own, I remember clearly like it was yesterday how similar and yet how different it was for me as a girl.

I love the girls in our  lives and as much as I’m able to, I want to scoop them up and tell them:

 

It won’t always be like this.

You are more beautiful and more valuable than you think.

You are more deeply loved than you will ever comprehend.

You are fully loved and fully welcomed just as you are by the God who made you.

Your identity {who you are} is because of the One who created you —  not because of

anything created or what this world tries to make you.

This post from Time is an excellent read for parents of girls but especially young women and young men.  I love social media and all the advantages and connectivity it brings us. But my heart breaks at what it can do to the human soul if we don’t tread carefully.

Click on the photo…Read and receive it as a guardrail for your heart.

 

Getty Images

Getty Images

Where Deep Wells Are Found

Greenville

You will often hear me say there is something amazing that happens when women get together.

I haven’t always believed this to be true.  My journey into the community of women has been an accidental one laden with skepticism, bits of criticism and some rejection.  Regretfully, these things have likely come from me as much as I’ve seen them around me.

Over the last several years, I’ve been converted to one who not only enjoys being surrounded by women, but also needs it.  There are deep wells among women that draw up grace, hope, joy and love.

Women understand each other. We are labeled as complex but it’s our complexity that makes our relationships so rich.  We get the need to sit in a quiet corner and download the thoughts spiraling in our heads. We understand the feeling of being too much and not enough. There is nothing more priceless than a friend who gets you, especially when you’re not even talking.

Last week, I was at the Allume Conference with 450 women gathered around three things in common: Jesus, community and writing. We came to learn something about our craft but are going home with a greater vision of a Craftsman. We are being returned reminded we are not what we create, but are among those who are loved wholly and completely by the Creator.  We enter back having been spurred on to love well, pierce the darkness and be generous. And if doing so causes us to wash people’s feet with our words, then glory to the One who is the giver of words.

There is something brilliant that happens when women get together.

We live with so many things vying for our attention, desiring to satisfy our God given hunger for things He wants to fill. We hunger for the supernatural.  We ache to be known and long for the holy presence of God in all things.  I came home realizing our need for a bigger view of God. I don’t want to serve a God I can wrap my mind around and explain away.

We need to know the God we serve is greater than we can imagine and more spectacular than we can comprehend. 

I am more convinced than ever, those of us who are somewhat aware, are to turn the gazes of others to the lifter of heads so their eyes can be shifted up.

When women get together and our eyes are lifted above the fray we meet one another with grace.  Instead of looking past each another we welcome one another and create safe spaces to share secrets within hours of “nice to meet you.”  Instead of belittling each other we add value to each other and encourage one another to ask God to take our little bit and make it much. 

This little bit of time made much in my heart and for that I am truly grateful.

To Do List on Men’s Retreat Weekend

My church‘s annual Men’s Retreat is taking place this weekend. It’s always amazing to me that about 300 men go on a retreat each year hoping to come back with a better view of God, themselves and their people.

For those of us who are married or have kids, Men’s Retreat weekend affords us some opportunities we may not have on a normal weekend.  If you are wondering what to do while the man is away, I’ve created this list of ideas, in no particular order:

1.  Take advantage of not having to prepare a “real” meal and let the kids choose from any cereal they want for dinner. Why should Dad be the “fun parent” all the time?

2.  Pray for your man to encounter God in a real and life-giving way.

3.  Stay up late “pinning” to your heart’s content with no guilt attached to the way you are using your late-night hours.

4.  Pray the speakers at the retreat will speak on behalf of God in a clear and loving way.

5.  Don’t be in such a hurry to do the dishes or picking up.  Wait till Sunday.  Heck…make the kids do ’em.

6.  Pray he will establish and build friendship with others that will influence him well and spur him on to love and good deeds.

7.  Have a few friends and their kids over, turn on a movie and order some pizza and enjoy the 95 degree heat with a low of 75.

8. Go to the beach.  {See #7}

9.  Thank God you have a man who even wants to go on a spiritual retreat.

10.  Swap kids with some friends so you each have a few free hours in the day tomorrow.

11. Come to church this weekend – come on Saturday for tacos and you won’t have to cook.

12.  Tell your kids how much your miss Daddy so they see your love for him.

13.  Resolve to be interested without asking him 5,000 questions when he gets home on Sunday.

14. Make sure you clear your calendar for the women’s retreat, February 15-17 , because you need to do something for the sake of YOUR soul.

15.  Pray for God to raise up some awesome, courageous, strong and gorgeous {I mean why not? Eph. 3:20} men for your single friends.

16.  Take up the whole space in the bed.  Sleep in the middle and stretch out.  Enjoy the space.

17.  Catch up on magazines, pick up a good book or watch Downton Abbey {It never gets old}.

18.  Buy something sexy to welcome him home on Sunday night after the kids go to bed.  Just sayin’.

19.  Read the book of Ephesians.  Especially chapter 5.

20.  Have your kids make him “welcome home cards.”

21.  Don’t complain about how tired and stressed out you were all weekend taking care of everyone and driving all over God’s country. Pretend it was a breeze but reiterate how much better it is when he is around.  He wants to come home to a wife, not a martyr.

Finally… use any quiet space you have to think and pray, asking God show you how to love, support, encourage, help and partner with your man in ways that speak to him.

“An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.”

Do you look forward to a little time alone? 

What will you be doing?

Would you add anything to the list?

Wholistic Care for Women and God’s Psychology

One of the best things to come out of 2011 in terms of my ministry involvement is the beginnings of the Women’s Care Team at King’s Harbor Church.

Every leader has areas of weakness in which they must compensate with by bringing people on the team who have the gifts they don’t have.  For me, my weakness is in the area of counseling.  I can counsel someone to a degree, but to stay in the long haul and help them get unstuck and moved on to the next place in their growth can be really hard for me and well… not my best contribution.  That being understood, I invited 9 women from our church who either counsel people professionally or have spent years in the trenches with women through the local church.  These women have blessed me so much with their wisdom, enthusiasm and genuine love to see women walk in the ways in which God has called them.  Out of their prayers and team work will come a new and better way to care for women in our church in a more whole way… heart, soul, mind and strength in 2012.

One woman in particular who has become a good friend has just published her first book.  I love hearing Terry’s perspective of psychology and how God has created our minds to work, heal and seek after Him.  She is a licensed therapist with a PhD and has a profound understand of God’s Truth and a desire for women to walk in that truth.  Whatever your bias is towards psychology, I would recommend her insights to you.

I’ve personally benefited from cognitive therapy a few times in my life.  With the help of Christian professionals I’ve been able to clear the clutter that’s been in mind and heart and make way for the God to do a work of sanctification and transformation in my life.

What about you?  Have you benefited from therapy/counseling before?

Confession…

Sometimes I wonder, was “she” really trusting God? Or could there have been a possibility she was delirious?

I know the answer… but seriously…

Haven’t you ever found yourself laughing when there was nothing you could do about all you have to do… or simply because of the circumstances you find yourself in?